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The Mammals of Costa Rica: A Natural History and Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications) Paperback – June 26, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Zona Tropical Publications
  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801473756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801473753
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Entertaining, clear, and fact-filled . . . . Containing an incredible wealth of information, this book is an excellent reference for serious naturalists, tour guides, educators, and researchers who teach or work in the tropics."—Journal of Mammalogy

"The Mammals of Costa Rica is an extremely useful and comprehensive guide to the mammal species of Costa Rica, one of the most important countries for conservation in the Americas today. This book goes beyond the realm of normal field guides, providing detailed scientific information as well as the conservation status of particular species."—Alan Rabinowitz, Wildlife Conservation Society

From the Back Cover

"The Mammals of Costa Rica is an extremely useful and comprehensive guide to the mammal species of Costa Rica, one of the most important countries for conservation in the Americas today. This book goes beyond the realm of normal field guides, providing detailed scientific information as well as the conservation status of particular species."--Alan Rabinowitz, Wildlife Conservation Society

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is handy for those who want to identify Costa Rican mammals, but it is especially appropriate for anyone who wishes to go beyond the simple question of "What's that?" It contains a wealth of natural history information on mammals' feeding, defecating, and sexual behavior. The author also describes ecological interactions and conservation issues. Hundreds of superb illustrations depict portraits of the animals as well as behaviors, food plants, and interesting details such as scats and penis bones. While the book focuses on species within Costa Rica, much of the information applies to mammals in Central America in general. The Natural History of Costa Rican Mammals serves as a fine reference book and a fun-to-read book at the same time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sbissell3 on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is far more than a review of information about mammals in Costa Rica; it is also a good field guide and a useful text on applied conservation. The author is a professional guide in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and as such is knowledgeable about a wide variety of natural history subjects. This book is primarily a review of the literature about mammals in not only Costa Rica, but elsewhere in Central America. It contains information widely applicable to other counties and the suggestions for conservation apply just as widely.
I have a pretty good library on wildlife in Central and South America and this beautifully done book is probably the best, not only about a specific group, but also about general issues. The drawings are excellent, the overall book is well put together and, the writing is clear, simple, accurate, and really first-rate. Buy this book even if you don't plan on traveling to Costa Rica.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
A marvellous book, compact enough to be a field guide and yet informative enough to be a valuable reference work at home. As a field guide it is particularly valuable for its superb illustrations and also in showing and discussing things like scats, tracks, dens and sounds for those animals that one would like to see but might not! We'll certainly take it along again on our next trip. As a reference work it is excellent as a clearly and entertainingly written introduction to the natural history and conservation of Costa Rica's many fascinating mammals. It also has a comprehensive list of references to the primary scientific literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joel Trick on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own a broad range of field guides of regional faunas. This guide ranks extremely high in multiple areas. It has concise, complete information on ecology and natural history, excellent quality plates, and fascinating narratives based upon recent scientific literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas P. Mcfarland on June 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really like this book, I have used many Costa Rican field guides extensively, and this is my favorite for mammals. The illustrations are very good, the size is right for the field, and there is a lot of useful information on natural history. The text, while not "dumbed down" in the least is very readable and approachable. The text is also more fun to read than that in most other field guides. Great book and I highly recommend it if you will be in the area.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Most field guides provide very little information other than the features of the animal relevant to identifying it. Wainwright's book, however, contains loads of fascinating natural history information, written in an engaging, sometimes clever but never cute style.
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Format: Paperback
I recently purchased this book while on a trip to Costa Rica in February because I did not recognize either the cover or the title as belonging to any book I already owned, and it had a 2007 publication date from a reputable press.

When I got home, I realized that this book is simply a re-publication of Mark Wainwright's 2002 "The Natural History of Costa Rican Mammals" (ISBN 0-9705678-1-2) without any new text (other than the change in the title. So now I am a bit miffed at having spent $30+ twice for the same book.

The 2007 version listed here has the same text, however the typeface and design have been changed (for the better). The color plates and range maps are moved next to the discussion of each species (the better choice) rather than being clumped at the end of the book as in the 2002 edition. Some of the illustrations are flipped left to right to fit the design better, but since they were drawings to begin with, no "reality" was altered.

As for the content, I agree with the other reviewers that it is clearly and interestingly written, although not comprehensive in its coverage of those mammal species unlikely to be seen by the anybody but a researcher (e.g. many bat species, small rodents). Definitely a worthwhile purchase...unless you already own the 2002 version in which case you can pass on this volume since it is not an update of the content of the earlier version.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A reader on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
O.K. for general natural history of relatively few species, but there are better field guides. More highly recommended is "A Field Guide to Neotropical Mammals".
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